Any holiday or page in a book set aside for expressions of gratitude is just the best thing ever. So I thought I should celebrate this Thanksgiving by at least attempting to acknowledge the the community of amazing people who make Blithewold Blithewold — everyone who keep this place so afloat that it practically flies. Most of them are volunteers.

The garden volunteers always get the lion’s share of my own personal thanks because they make my job infinitely easier and tons of fun, and the gardens infinitely more beautiful than they otherwise would be. (Without them Gail and I might still be trying to get June’s plants in the ground.) But an even greater number of volunteers work in the house, and more this season than any other. Without them we’d have to keep the doors to the mansion locked. That would be a real shame because thousands of visitors would miss seeing the entire house decorated – by volunteers – to illustrate Marjorie’s Grand Tour, Christmas-style. Aside from decorators, we rely on volunteer admission takers, shop keepers, raffle ticket sellers, phone answerers, tea makers and servers, and docents who immerse themselves in the history of the family and the house in order to better tell the story to visitors. There is even another group of volunteers working in the archives who dive in to Blithewold’s history head first. Without them none of us would have a clue how fascinating the family was. In fact, bits and bobs from the collection, things that Marjorie saved from her travels in Europe, are on display in every room.

I haven’t come close to mentioning everyone (the board of directors, committee members, interns, staff, — members, visitors, blog readers!) but as I go through Thanksgiving – and probably beyond — I’ll remember who I’ve left out. I just wanted to pass along how grateful I am to be a part of this community, doing work that I find wildly interesting. It doesn’t get any better.

Deepest thanks to all. And Happy Thanksgiving!